All week long, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow hos walked us through the maze of information about the Trump campaign and administration tires to Russia.
“What’s getting to be, I think, particularly unsettling, is that simultaneously, we are … number one, nailing down more direct connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government at the time the Russian government was influencing our election.” [..]
“Number two, at the same time, we are also starting to see what may be signs of continuing influence in our country. Not just during the campaign but during the administration. Basically, signs of what could be a continuing operation.” [..]
“The Russian government attacked our election.”
“The Russian government was in contact with multiple campaign sources while they were doing it. Russian nemeses in the American government, U.S. State Department, the CIA, are not fairing well since Donald Trump came to power. Is the operation that Russia started during the campaign — is it over? Or are they still running it? Are we still in this now?
During his Senate confirmation hearing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he did not meet with any Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, despite two meetings he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Asked about the purpose of the meetings, Sessions said last week he didn’t fully remember.
Michael Flynn talked to Ambassador Kislyak during the transition period, and after insisting that U.S. sanctions against Russia didn’t come up during their conversations, Flynn later said he didn’t remember whether sanctions were part of the discussions or not.
Maybe memory loss is contagious? CNN had an interesting report late yesterday:
In an October speech to the Detroit Economic Club, Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, denied meeting with Donald Trump or campaign officials during the course of 2016 presidential election, but acknowledged that he met with members of Congress and others who approached him at events.
Kislyak spoke to the Detroit Economic Club on Oct. 27th of last year.
I’d need to see a full transcript of the ambassador’s comments – the CNN report was a little short on exact quotes – because the details are important. But if the reporting is accurate, it’s a curious development.
This report noted that, according to Kislyak, he didn’t meet with Trump campaign officials before the election, but there’s ample evidence to the contrary. Jeff Sessions, for example, met with Kislyak during the campaign. So did Michael Flynn. So did J.D. Gordon and Carter Page, two of Trump’s foreign policy advisers.
In fact, after the election, Kislyak acknowledged on the record that he spoke to members of Team Trump before the U.S. Election Day.
Why would he say the opposite in late October?
The latest has to do with that very weird outcome of the Republican Platform, where the Trump campaign apparently didn’t give a rat’s butt about anything in the document except the Russia platform plank regarding Ukraine.Turns out there’s a dossier released February 11 that alleged that the Trump campaign actually did a deal of no action on Ukraine in exchange for leaks of DNC emails via Wikileaks.Let me restate that. Trump traded foreign policy of United States and sided with Russia — for political ratfking of Democratic Party.
It now appears, the Trump administration is continuing trading and the Republican congress is, as well as, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, complicit. As Rachel has said, it is now up to us to expose this.